Lowepro Pro Trekker 300AW - Part 2
A few weeks ago I began my review of the Lowepro Pro Trekker 300AW with a look at what it holds (the verdict? A lot!). In part two we'll look at how comfortable it is to carry all that gear.
I'll get straight to the point, this is a fairly heavy backpack that can hold a lot of gear so as you'd expect when fully loaded it's very heavy but when it's on your back that weight seems to vanish. The padding on the backpack, straps and waistband is thick and breathable and those straps are nice and wide which all helps spread the weight. What really seems to make all the difference though is the adjustability of all those straps, not only can you easily adjust the shoulder straps in two places but there are also adjustable chest and waist straps. These are all things to be expected but the clever part is that the whole shoulder harness can be moved up or down allowing you to position the waist strap around your waist whatever your height.
The harness is basically attached to the bag by a huge piece of Velcro and using a piece of plastic supplied ( known as the pack jack) the Velcro can be released and the straps slid up or down as required.
In use I found it took a bit of initial faffing about to get the straps adjusted how I wanted them but once done and the bag is on the weight is so evenly distributed and well supported that I'm yet to walk far enough to have found it uncomfortable.
As with all backpacks (well almost all) you have to take the bag off your back to access the gear inside, what is annoying about the Pro Trekker is that you have to lay it down on the padded side to open it meaning when the ground is wet or muddy ( which at dawn it usually is!) the part of the bag in contact wi your back is going to be filthy. More worrying is that if it is really wet that moisture can seep through into the camera compartment. To combat this I carry a small ground sheet to lay the bag on and use the removable top compartment as a waist bag to hold things like batteries, cards and even a lens to save keep taking the bag off.
So after several weeks of ownership, during which time it has to be said that the weather has meant I haven't got to use the bag as much as I'd like, I'm very happy with both the capacity and comfort of the bag in use... I'll be back for part three when I've had more time to really put the Lowepro Pro Trekker 300AW throughout it's paces.